The Government has today set out an ambitious investment plan which will see €1.2 Billion invested in Ireland’s cultural, language and heritage infrastructure.

The National Cultural Institutions Investment Programme is the largest constituent part of the funding and will see €460 Million go towards a number of key projects including:

  • National Library of Ireland renovation;
  • National Archives of Ireland renovation;
  • National Museum of Ireland masterplan redevelopment;
  • National Concert Hall renovation;
  • Crawford Art Gallery redevelopment;
  • National Theatre redevelopment;
  • Irish Museum of Modern Art renovation;
  • National Gallery of Ireland – further phases of the masterplan redevelopment;
  • Chester Beatty Library improvements.

Runing alongside this will be a Cultural and Creativity investment programme comprising €265 million directed towards creative communities and creative industries as pillars of the Creative Ireland Programme.

€200 million will be invested in media production and audio visual industries.

A €40 million programme of investing in cultural infrastructure across all regions will see support for the maintenance and development of regional arts centres, theatres, regional museums, galleries, archives, multi-use facilities and artist studios.

A €10 million national digitisation investment programme will see national collections digitised over the course of the plan supporting the conservation, preservation and dissemination of the national collections;

Galway as EU Capital of Culture will receive €15 million funding for its cultural programme under the Plan.
Priority Projects – Under the €285m Heritage Programme

The balance of the investment will go towards heritage sites and Irish Language facilities focused on Gaeltacht areas.

“I am delighted to launch this historic capital investment plan in our culture, language and heritage,’ said Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan.

“This level of investment will transform our cultural and heritage infrastructure right across the country. It is also an important statement for this and future generations, that our culture, language and heritage are fundamental to all of our lives.”

“They affect our education, our public buildings and public spaces. They impact the relationship between the citizen and the State, and the relationship of citizens to each other. They are about our identity and our values.”

“Cultural infrastructure provides a home for all of us, a space for all us to meet, to exchange ideas, to create the new, to imagine what could be. With this announcement, I am delighted that we have delivered on an important pillar of the Creative Ireland Programme.”

The Minister was backed up by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar who added that “Irish culture, music, language and art is the window through which most of the world sees us for the first time. It’s central to our positive global image and reputation.”

“Culture and creativity enriches our lives, is a substantial part of our economy employing people all over Ireland, and is a driver of tourism.”

“For all these reasons, we have put together a ten year investment package for culture. It’s fully funded and forms part of the Project Ireland 2040 plan, and goes a long way to honouring my commitment to double government spending on arts, culture and heritage over the next seven years.”

“We’re investing in venues, concert halls and museums where our culture is presented, around Ireland and in our cities. We’re investing in local arts and culture, in our national parks and historic monuments, and digitising more national collections to ensure they can be enjoyed everywhere. And we’re investing in the Irish language, inside and outside the Gaeltacht. I want to commend Minister Madigan and my other colleagues in Government for bringing these exciting plans to life.”

The investment is to be warmly welcomed but should not be treated as a ten year ‘ticket to ride’ by the Arts.  It provides money for projects that would otherwise drain current expenditure and bring many to fruition that would not otherwise exist.

It will be seen at its most powerful though only if it us used by institutions to leverage commercial backing that will increase the value and the benefit at a much faster rate.

There is a clear appetite from business to invest in areas that ‘matter’ to people and culture and the arts do just that.

There has fo too long been a sense that the Arts was something that should be fuinded by tax payer money and that commercial influence would compromise creative independence.

This is a real opportunity for that idea to be swept aside.

It should be grasped with enthusiasm to encourage commercial parties to get involved as as part of their community engagement programmes and business leaders to do likewise as philanthopists within a fit for purpose arts establishment that can offer modern comfortable entertainment.

This is not an end, merely what has to be a strong beginning.

On Wednesday 25th April we will host a gathering of existing and potential members of our community to explore the theme of ‘Making Sponsorship Work in Entertainment.

On Wednesday 23rd May we will host a specific Agency event titled ‘Creating a Platform for Agency Excellence in Entertainment’.

If you would like to join us for either of these two events, contact us today.